The information contained in this post is essential information you will need should you find yourself needing a bath in Northern India in the winter.
Showering or bathing in northern India in winter without heat is an accomplishment.
This deserves its own post because it is one of the most challenging things to do in the winter time.
They say it's "having a bath", here, but it is not a bath, bath by Canadian standards.
You have a choice of a shower head with but a trickle coming out or a large gallon pail with a small scoop that you scoop hot water over yourself while squatting on the floor.
I have opted for the bucket version, because you actually get more water over you faster so you can get the job done more quickly without freezing yourself.
How it works is, if you've never bathed from a bucket before, you fill your bucket with warm water. It takes a full bucket if you are washing your hair and your hair is long, less than half a bucket if you aren't.
And I rediscovered today that you need to FILL your bucket with warm water BEFORE you get undressed. I didn't do that today and learned the hard, cold way.
Then pour one scoop or two over yourself, soap up, then pour a couple more scoops over and boom, you are done. (Unless you are washing your hair, then I recommend washing the body first and keep the head dry. Wash the hair last and then jump out, towel off vigorously and dress as fast as you can)
It needs to be a sunny day if you wash your hair so you can dry it in the sun.
If you are NOT washing your hair, it is actually quite efficient. You can get it done quickly and effectively.
It is always an adventure and an undertaking when you wash your hair too. First, getting it wet enough that you can actually shampoo it. While you lather it, the rest of you is wet and in the cold, with no hot water running over you, so you scrub your head as fast as you can so you can scoop some more hot water over yourself.
Here is a video of Nakul demonstrating an advanced technique for post-bath warming
And today, of course, it was extra fun because there was a power cut half way through my "bath" which meant that the hot water ran out half way through.
Of course, just my luck.
I also had a good giggle because my shampoo, which is those little hotel bottles of shampoo I always travel with, was basically solidified in the cold. It had turned to a stiff gel. Hahaha.
As I sit here, I feel grateful for the simple things, like the sun shining and the warmth of it.
As if I never appreciated the sun before.